MedicSBK: The Early Years

MedicSBK: The Early Years

Feb 18, 2015

With the five year anniversary of the blog next week I wanted to share a couple of posts about me outside of EMS. I started reading through some older posts and my bio and realized that while I have spoken a lot about my career I have not talked much about how I got here.

As I have mentioned I grew up in Island Heights, New Jersey.  While MTV might have given the Jersey Shore a bad rap it is in fact a great place to be a kid. Island Heights was not the busy tourist attraction that Seaside, located just a few miles away, is but it is a small sleepy shore town.  If I walked out our front door all that I had to do was look to the left and right to see everything that I needed growing up. To the left was a small park complete with a field, basketball court and woods suitable for hours of manhunt. To the right was the Toms River and the 18 foot Boston Whaler that I spent day after day on during the summer.

If you’ve met me in person you know I’m a tall guy.  Six foot five to be exact but I’ve taken to telling people that I am five nine and a half just to see their reaction.  Although I was a three sport athlete until I reached high school (basketball baseball and soccer) because of my height I was under the most pressure to play basketball which coincidentally was my least favorite out of the three.  I first set foot on an ambulance as a cadet in my freshman year of high school and fell in love with it instantly. While I played sports and spent time at practice and games I looked more forward to going home turning the pager on and waiting for the next call to come in. We were not a busy department but we did okay considering our size. EMS was what I loved more than anything so much so that I took my EMT class at night while I was a sophomore in high school.

By my junior year I had decided that I wanted to make a career out of this and tried to give up basketball.  I was disenchanted with the team that I was playing with and just generally did not enjoy high school. Kids are cruel and I was on the receiving end of a lot of flack.  That was close to twenty years ago and it was a different world.  Raising kids has changed a lot.  I don’t have any regrets however I did not enjoy my years at Central Regional High School either.  My parents laid a lot of pressure on me to not give up basketball feeling that I would be a better student as a student athlete which was far from the truth. I was starting junior varsity and sitting the bench for varsity which meant that I had to attend both practices and game days saw me not getting home from school until 9pm.  My disenchantment for basketball confirmed the love of EMS for me. I would often pick up and put down hobbies rather quickly.  I got distracted easily and bored easily but EMS was the exception to all of that. I could not get enough of it. It was all that I wanted to be doing.

I started having some nagging knee problems during basketball season and found that while I would be able to play the season out I would have to have surgery in the off season for ligament and cartilage damage. The pressure was on from my parents to get the surgery done in June which would mean no EMS no job in Seaside and being able to play a sport my senior year that I had zero desire to be a part of. The alternative was to have the surgery in August which meant no basketball.

So August it was.

My senior year went really well. I made national honors society and got accepted to Springfield College’s EMS Management for early admission.  The route for my education was paved. While high school was a rough four years I made it through and was off to something that I knew I was going to enjoy.   Some will say that high school is the best four years of your life and I’m here to tell you that’s not entirely true. Life is what you make of it and you’ll get enjoyment Out of what you put your heart into.  I am proof of that and as a result of my upbringing and the unrelenting support I got from my family I am here today happy as can be.

So almost five years after my first blog post here I am. Thats the story of how I got through the early years and got to where I am today. To any younger folks out there who are in the same boat that I was being young and having a passion for this field don’t give up and invest in yourself and your education.  As our field grows be willing and motivated to not only grow with it but grow faster than it is.

Thanks for reading, everyone.  It’s been a fun first five years and I’m looking forward to whatever else is in the cards for me.

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